From Auckland we took a short Jetstar flight to Christchurch where we picked up the rental car and drove to Akaroa. The story of Akaroa begins approximately seven and half million years ago when two giant volcanoes erupted. This eruption resulted in the formation of what we now know today as Banks Peninsula. The area was rich in natural resources making it an inviting place to settle. The Maori where the first to inhabit the land, followed by a British and French colony. To this day Akaroa village still has a distinct French flavour and influence. The dramatic formation and landscape of Banks Peninsula makes for some breath-taking scenery en-route to Akaroa. Akaroa is home year round to 1000 people, many of who work in the tourism industry.
With a small boat we set off for a scenic tour through the beautifully formed water inlet that leads to the ocean, meanwhile spotting the extremely rare Hector dolphins (world’s smallest dolphins), seals and penguins. On our boat the crew even had a dog on board, Sydney, who was a dolphin spotting dog as he could hear their sounds from far away & would run up and down the boat happily when doing so. With Akaroa being our first meeting of less urban New Zealand it was a wonderful stop and a great introduction.